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In each of us lies a powerful and personal army that protects us from infection and disease. We call this and its networks the "Immune System". Come find out: how our our cells signals for help when they become infected and cancerous, how the immune system kills microbes and infected cells, why counting is one of the most underrated things you learnt at school, and how technology and supercomputers are changing the way we study health and disease.
Revealing the Enemy From Within: How the Immune System Detects Infected and Cancerous Cells
Our immune system keeps us safe by fighting off infection and disease, much like the police on our streets. If we step on a rusty nail, it’s like an alien invasion on our cities and it would be difficult to miss. But what happens when our cells have been invaded and sinister things have already begun behind closed doors? How do we reveal the enemy from within?
One, Two, Skip a Few
Counting seems such a simple thing to do, start from one and keep going, so why do you need a statistician? In this talk we'll explore the need for statistical approaches to answer one of the basic questions: "how many people belong to a group or have a certain disease?". An answer to this question is needed in policy and research (and we will also explore some of the ethical issues surrounding it).
Finding the unknown unknowns: from Salmonella to Eros in 3 steps
How does our immune system destroy pathogens that dare to enter our body? I will walk you through my research into the cellular machinery that attacks and kills invaders by producing hydrogen peroxide on demand. Our immune system literally generates bleach to protect us us from fungi and harmful bacteria like Salmonella. In particular, I will focus on how we have discovered new genes involved in this pathway and how this is providing new insights into human disease.
New Gene Discovery in Primary Immunodeficiencies Disorders: From Bedside to Supercomputers
Primary immunodeficiency disorders (PIDs) impair the function of the immune system. Patients with these intrinsic defects have increased susceptibility to recurrent and persistent infections, and they may also have uncontrolled inflammation, autoimmune and cancer related symptoms. Most PIDs are rare and the diagnosed patients for a condition are often randomly spread out around the world. More than 350 PIDs affecting the immune system have been described so far. We will describe how new bioinformatics tools facilitate identification of novel immunodeficiency genes and therapies.